Friday, August 24, 2012

Tulasankramana at Talacauvery - a travel tale from my past

It took this long for me to reach here.After the break down, the company whose car we hired in Mysore arranged for a jeep for us to travel uphill to Bhagamandala. The driver had meanwhile arranged for a jeep from Madikeri. Now to Bhagamandala also called Triveni sangam- This is famous for the union of three rivers Kaveri, Sujyothi and the Kannika. Having a dip here is considered sacred by people who have faith. The significance is that the dip in the holy river will heal you of your various  miseries and sins. The water here is supposed to have healing and miraculous powers.
8kms uphill from Bhagamandala is Talacauvery (Talakaveri) – the origin of Dakshin ganga – river Kaveri. Here I must recall my first visit to this place in the oct of 89, when we planned a visit for the Tulasankramana or Kaveri sankramana. It was an all women's gang and a religious visit. My mom and her friends with their children totally numbering 15. From here, if you ascend 350 steps  leads you to the brahmagiri peak , you reach a mythological spot where a  crow is supposed to have  upturned the kamandal of Sage Agastya. There are many legends and stories  based on this and the water from the kamandal is supposed to be River Cauvery.(That shall be another post). Atop, Brahmagiri you are in for a breathtaking view of the beautiful valley and the windmills. The entire panorama looks like an airbrushed hallmark scenic greeting card. As you are in awe of the beauty spread below you, suddenly you will be clouded with a white veil for you can see nothing. It turns scary, you would’nt be able to see who’s beside you.  It is the drifting mist playing with you hide and seek of the view. There were no viewers gallery then, it must have undergone lot of changes by now.

Descending down to the Talakaveri( head of kaveri), as the name implies it is the source of the river Cauvery. This is one of the most sacred rivers in India. This place is about 1276 metres above sea level. This place also has many beautiful temples with lovely legends . But my post will focus on the  highlight of this place, Brahma kundike or Tirth kundike(Pond).

The tirth kundike which is where the water springs on a predetermined time on tula sankramana day( app. october 17th every year)
                                 The big pond and the small shrine adjoining the kundike
 Like I said, my first trip was during the Tulasankramana( mid October)  of 89. There was a mad rush at this place as this event is as good as a mini kumbh mela. The kundike is a small square about 3X3 in front of a small shrine and adjacent to this is a big tank. The pundits were sitting on either side of the square kundike and performing puja to the water. The water was red due to the vermillion(kunkum) used in the puja and at around the predetermined time of 4.30, suddenly from nowhere there were many small water springs bubbling forth in the small kundike. The red water was replaced with clear fresh water in no time by the gush of the spring. From then on, there was total cacophony among the devotees. It was a magical sight which I still re-run in my memory, visualize and can’t get over. It never occurred to me then as a teenager, i was angry at the jostling crowd and was very bitter.That day, i told myself i would never ever visit an unorganized crowded place like this.  But now,  I realize  this is  just what the crowd was waiting for and millions of lives down South are reliant on. For this mini fountains roll down, broadens, cascades and floods over plains and hills and joins many tributaries and is the lifeline of Karnataka and  flows into the neighbouring Tamilnadu where too she is the lifeline. She also carves many beautiful riverine Islands, promotes leisure giving raise to many picnic spots, water falls, dams,festivals etc., and she is the reason for the world's ancient engineering marvel and the world's first hydroelectric project.  If not  for her, the whole of Thanjavur region which is hailed as the granary of South India would have been a barren dry land.
She is called the 'Jeevanadhi' , who throws open an entire civilization, many lifestyles and is the source for many lives ,culture, beliefs and tradition. There are many legends associated with this river and prominent among them is the Coorgi styling of draping saree. I’m not very sure about this story. However, it is said the gushing water moved the pleats of the Kodava women’s sari to the back and hence the pleats are not in the front as the regular Indian sari in Coorgi style.
                                         coorgi women draped in a saree , coorgi style 
It is amazing how a small spring flows 700 kms across two states and becomes the lifeline of many people  and has been a muse for poets and artists and inspires a government run handicraft store to be named after her.  No wonder, she is revered down south like the Ganga.
My next post on an ancient city swallowed by the sea.  Would you care to name the city?
Images courtesy: Google


  1. WOW! This was such an amazing read! You are so lucky to have the opportunities to travel to such amazing destinations! And your writing is so good, I feel like I was right there with you! :)

  2. wow, indeed amazing as you say 700kms flow and a life line .. some beautiful pictures and all that info..

    city swallowed by sea no clue , is it in Orissa ..


  3. seriouslynga..neenga newspaper travellougesku apply panalam..semmaya iruku..u brought back gud ol memories of my first visit to talacavery...neenga sonna ela edathukum we also went..aana triveni sangamamla kaal vaika mudila..avlo dirty it was..anga dosai try panni parunga..namma oor eversilver dabba moodi mathiri irukum :D and the next post is on dhanushkodi??

    1. what dosas are those? set dosaia? eversilver dabba moodi madiri na thicka rounda so set dosaia?:)

    2. setdosai illa..aana antha size irkum

  4. Yeas - Cauvery is a life giver to millions of people. Or rather millions of people chose to live near the Cauvery from ancient times, simply because she was the provider. The river is even more venerated in Karnataka than in Tamil Nadu.

    I am guessing Poompuhar ......

  5. Loving the information about the saree.

  6. You have given a good description of this beautiful place. I have been to this place twice, and views are indeed beautiful.

  7. @ Budget holidays - Hey, thanks and nice to see a travel organizer comment on a travelogue.

    @ Bikram - thank you and the city is poompuhar, my post is up.

    @ Gils - encouraging words those and thanks. Dhanushkodi was swallowed by the sea in recent times. My post is about an ancient city, so it is poompuhar. my post is up.

    @ Ramesh - yes, the neyveli man gets it. It is poompuhar

    @ Petty witter - thanks

    @ Rama - thanks

  8. Hi, We are planning a visit to coorg and talakaveri by mid Oct. Is it the right time to go talakaveri? will it be too crowded? ( coz, we are going with our kid)

  9. @ Deepa - it was totally disorganized then. I don't know about it now. Please check out with kstdc or any tourism centers at coorg. This is like a kumbh mela so the crowd will be there.

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